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Marianne Hart

The Creativity Crisis - Newsweek - 48 views

  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
  • “Creativity can be taught,”
  • it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Students are labeled as "creative" if they display a knack for art or music, and sometimes in writing, however, they are rarely recognized as creative in math or science where a lot of creativity is not only needed, but excellent for learning within those very two disciplines.
    • Bill Genereux
       
      This is precisely why creativity education is important. It is needed everywhere, not just in the arts. Those teaching outside of arts education need to start recognizing the importance of creative thinking as well.
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  • When faculty of a major Chinese university asked Plucker to identify trends in American education, he described our focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. “After my answer was translated, they just started laughing out loud,” Plucker says. “They said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’ ”
  • The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process.
  • When you try to solve a problem, you begin by concentrating on obvious facts and familiar solutions, to see if the answer lies there. This is a mostly left-brain stage of attack. If the answer doesn’t come, the right and left hemispheres of the brain activate together. Neural networks on the right side scan remote memories that could be vaguely relevant. A wide range of distant information that is normally tuned out becomes available to the left hemisphere, which searches for unseen patterns, alternative meanings, and high-level abstractions. Having glimpsed such a connection, the left brain must quickly lock in on it before it escapes. The attention system must radically reverse gears, going from defocused attention to extremely focused attention. In a flash, the brain pulls together these disparate shreds of thought and binds them into a new single idea that enters consciousness. This is the “aha!” moment of insight, often followed by a spark of pleasure as the brain recognizes the novelty of what it’s come up with. Now the brain must evaluate the idea it just generated. Is it worth pursuing? Creativity requires constant shifting, blender pulses of both divergent thinking and convergent thinking, to combine new information with old and forgotten ideas. Highly creative people are very good at marshaling their brains into bilateral mode, and the more creative they are, the more they dual-activate.
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better
    • Ed Webb
       
      Surely, "more quickly"?
  • Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike. Fortunately, the science can help: we know the steps to lead that elusive muse right to our doors.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Likely because it was out of necessity and the hardships of life. Not that we don't have hardships and necessities, but innovation has solved a lot of problems and automation has made skills and tasks easy.
  • What’s common about successful programs is they alternate maximum divergent thinking with bouts of intense convergent thinking, through several stages. Real improvement doesn’t happen in a weekend workshop. But when applied to the everyday process of work or school, brain function improves.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Everyday process of work or school... over time, consistent and non-prescriptive.
  • kids demonstrated the very definition of creativity: alternating between divergent and convergent thinking, they arrived at original and useful ideas. And they’d unwittingly mastered Ohio’s required fifth-grade curriculum—from understanding sound waves to per-unit cost calculations to the art of persuasive writing. “You never see our kids saying, ‘I’ll never use this so I don’t need to learn it,’ ” says school administrator Maryann Wolowiec. “Instead, kids ask, ‘Do we have to leave school now?’ ” Two weeks ago, when the school received its results on the state’s achievement test, principal Traci Buckner was moved to tears. The raw scores indicate that, in its first year, the school has already become one of the top three schools in Akron, despite having open enrollment by lottery and 42 percent of its students living in poverty.
  • project-based learning
  • highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.
  • When creative children have a supportive teacher—someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions, or detours of curiosity—they tend to excel. When they don’t, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school or don’t finish college at high rates. They’re quitting because they’re discouraged and bored, not because they’re dark, depressed, anxious, or neurotic. It’s a myth that creative people have these traits. (Those traits actually shut down creativity; they make people less open to experience and less interested in novelty.) Rather, creative people, for the most part, exhibit active moods and positive affect. They’re not particularly happy—contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have. But they’re engaged, motivated, and open to the world.
  • solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others
  • The age-old belief that the arts have a special claim to creativity is unfounded.
  • When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations. Inside their brains, the same thing was happening—ideas were being generated and evaluated on the fly.
  • The lore of pop psychology is that creativity occurs on the right side of the brain. But we now know that if you tried to be creative using only the right side of your brain, it’d be like living with ideas perpetually at the tip of your tongue, just beyond reach
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.
  • The home-game version of this means no longer encouraging kids to spring straight ahead to the right answer
  • The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function.
  • “As a child, I never had an identity as a ‘creative person,’ ” Schwarzrock recalls. “But now that I know, it helps explain a lot of what I felt and went through.”
  • In China there has been widespread education reform to extinguish the drill-and-kill teaching style. Instead, Chinese schools are also adopting a problem-based learning approach.
  • fact-finding
  • problem-finding
  • Next, idea-finding
  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
  •  
    For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong-and how we can fix it.
Sharin Tebo

How Do We Transform Our Schools? - Education Next : Education Next - 26 views

  • And yet the machines have made hardly any impact.
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      Why would they? It is PEOPLE, not programs or 'things' that make a difference!
  • An organization’s natural instinct is to cram the innovation into its existing operating model to sustain what it already does. This is the predictable course, the logical course—and the wrong course.
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      This idea of 'nonconsumption' is exactly what the authors of Blended discuss. This is the opportune moment to disrupt and innovate. 
  • The way to implement an innovation so that it will transform an organization is to implement it disruptively—not by using it to compete against the existing paradigm and serve existing customers, but to let it compete against “non-consumption,” where the alternative is nothing at all.
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  • At first glance there appears to be little non-consumption of education in the United States since students are required to receive schooling. Looking deeper, however, reveals many pockets of non-consumption where students would be delighted with computer-based learning rather than the alternative, nothing at all. Take Advanced Placement (AP) courses for starters. According to a 2005 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 33 percent of schools nationwide offered no AP classes in 2002–03. Those that do provide AP courses today only offer a fraction of the 34 courses for which AP exams are available, because they lack the resources to hire more AP teachers or there is not enough student demand to justify a dedicated course and teacher.
  • Credit recovery is another big opportunity.
Sigrid Murphy

Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland's schools improve but that American reformers now ignore - 64 views

    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Interesting Top Five
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Answer explanation is almost as important as mathematic problem solving.  If we really want to know if a student understands ANY concept, we need to ask him/her to write their explanation.  Sometimes the understanding comes from the thinking required to do the writing - writing to make it make sense!
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Why don't we consider relating almost every lesson to everyday life?  Seems like an obvious thing to do to me!
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    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Wow!  I think the concept of doing less of something in order to make time for experimentation is a fabulous idea!  Do you mean there are different aspects of student assessment and testing beyond a bubble sheet?  :)
  • Most of them have studied psychology, teaching methods, curriculum theories, assessment models, and classroom management researched and designed in the United States
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Finland's successful practices are something they learned here in the U.S.  So, why aren't our teachers here in the U.S. employing those same practices successfully?
  • Professional development and school improvement courses and programs often include visitors from the U.S. universities to teach and work with Finnish teachers and leaders.
  • in an ideal classroom, pupils speak more than the teacher
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Hooray!
  • the entire Finnish school system looks like John Dewey’s laboratory school in the U.S.
  • cooperative learning has become a pedagogical approach that is widely practiced throughout Finnish education system
  • Finnish teachers believe that over 90 percent of students can learn successfully in their own classrooms if given the opportunity to evolve in a holistic manner.
  • After abolishing all streaming and tracking of students in the mid-1980s, both education policies and school practices adopted the principle that all children have different kinds of intelligences and that schools must find ways how to cultivate these different individual aspects in balanced ways.
  • it is ironic that many of these methods were developed at U.S. universities and are yet far more popular in Finland than in the United States. These include portfolio assessment, performance assessment, self-assessment and self-reflection, and assessment for learning methods.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Alternative assessments!  Performance, portfolio, self-assessment, self-reflection, and assessment of learning methods...
  • Peer coaching—that is, a confidential process through which teachers work together to reflect on current practices, expand, improve, and learn new skills, exchange ideas, conduct classroom research and solve problems together in school
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Working together and reflecting on current practices - Reflection helps to expand, improve, and provides an opportunity to learn and exchange ideas to solve problems
  • the work of the school in the United States is so much steered by bureaucracies, test-based accountability and competition that schools are simply doing what they must do
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Sadness Abounds!  We are teaching folks what works best.  Then, they enter the classroom and get wrapped up in bureaucracies and test-based accountability to the point that teachers are just going through the motions instead of facilitating quality learning
  •  
    Pasi Sahlberg Blog Finnish education reform Originally published in Washington Post, 24 July 2014 An intriguing question whether innovation in education can be measured has an answer now. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in its recent report "Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation" measures Innovation in Education in 22 countries and 6 jurisdictions, among them the U.S.
Cynthia Sarver

CITE Journal - Language Arts - 94 views

  • Since it is through communication that we exercise our political, economic and social power, we risk contributing to the hegemonic perpetuation of class if we fail to demand equal access to newer technologies and adequately prepared teachers for all students
    • Cynthia Sarver
       
      What is being done??
  • They can benefit their students by developing and then teaching their students to develop expertise in evaluation of search engines and critical analysis of Web site credibility. Well-prepared teachers, with a deep and broad understanding of language, linguistics, literature, rhetoric, writing, speaking, and listening, can complement those talents by studying additional semiotic systems that don’t rely solely on alphabetic texts.
  • Not only will teachers need to understand “fair use” policies, they are likely to need to integrate units on ethics back into the curriculum to complement those units on rhetoric.
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  • Students should be counseled not only on the risks to their physical safety, but also on the ways that the texts they are composing today, and believe they have eliminated, often have lives beyond their computers, and may reappear in the future at a most inopportune time.
  • learn methods of critically analyzing the ways in which others are using multiple semiotic systems to convince them to participate, to buy, to believe, and to resist a wide range of appeals
  • It also implies the process of uncovering one’s own cultural, social, political and personal (e.g. age, gender) backgrounds and understanding how these backgrounds can and often do influence one’s own ways of communicating and interacting with others in virtual and face-to-face encounters.
  • nstances of anti-social behavior in online communication such as using hurtful language and discriminating among certain members of virtual communities have been reported.
  • allows their members to construct and act out identities that may not necessarily be their real selves and thus lose a sense of responsibility toward others
  • Professional development for teachers and teacher educators must be ongoing, stressing purposeful integration for the curriculum and content, rather than merely technical operation. It also needs to provide institutional and instructional support systems to enable teachers to learn and experiment with new technologies. Offering release time, coordinating student laptop initiative programs or providing wireless laptop carts for classroom use, locating computer labs in accessible places to each teacher, scheduling lab sessions acceptable for each teacher, and providing alternative scheduling for professional development sessions so that all teachers can attend, are a few examples of such systems. Finally, teachers and students must be provided with technical support as they work with technology. Such assistance must be reliable, on-demand, and timely for each teacher and student in each classroom.
  • educators must address plagiarism, ownership, and authorship in their classrooms.
  • strategies to assess the quality of information and writing on the Web
  • help students develop netiquette
  • Such netiquette is thus not only about courtesy; more importantly, it is about tolerance and acceptance of people with diverse languages, cultures, and worldviews.
  • Teachers and teacher educators must examine with students the social processes through which humans grow individually and socially, and they must expose the potentially negative consequences of one’s individual actions. In doing so, teachers and educators will be able to reinforce the concept of learning as a social process, involving negotiation, dialogue, and learning from each other, and as a thinking process, requiring self-directed learning as well as critical analysis and synthesis of information in the process of meaning-making and developing informed perceptions of the world.
Sharin Tebo

Guide: Using the SAMR Model to Guide Learning | That #EdTech Guy's Blog - 74 views

  • The SAMR Model (above) was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. It enables educators to analyse how effective their use of technology is on teaching and learning.
  • – Enhancement (Substitution and Augmentation) – technology is used just to enhance a task
  • – Transformation (Modification and Redefinition) – tasks are designed in a way which would not be possible without the use of technology
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  • Substitution – at this stage, technology is simply used as an alternative tool for completing the original task with no real change in the tasks function.
  • Example: instead of writing by hand, learners use an app like Pages to type up a report.
  • Example: once again, if students are creating a document on Pages, using the collaborative tools available on iWork for iCloud, learners can work on a document together. Peers could add feedback comments to the document in real time which could be responded to, which would improve the end product further.
  • Augmentation – here, technology is still used as a direct substitute like above, however it offers improvements in terms of the function of the task.
  • Example: again using Pages, however making use of features like spellchecking function or importing images to enhance the end product.
  • Modification – it is at this point where technology starts to enhance teaching and learning. It requires tasks to be redesigned, in order to make the most of the technology available.
  • it still does not improve the students learning experience.
  • Redefinition– this is the point at which technology really enhances the learning experience for students and has the greatest impact. Through the use of technology, educators are able to design tasks that were previously impossible.
  • Example: like before, learners may be collaborating on a document in Pages. However, this time the end product will be uploaded to a website or perhaps a class blog. Students are usually excited by the prospect of their work being on display in a classroom, so the use of a real audience is huge for them. Furthermore, this builds their literacy skills as they need to consider the audience that they’ll be writing to and adapt their work accordingly. Finally, this opens up the possibility of feedback from this global audience which they can respond to.
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    SAMR Explained with Definitions and Application Examples
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